My seat, like so many others, will likely be empty when the refs blow the final whistle. In a press conference, we’ll hear about how these guys go out and give everything for sixty minutes and that the least we can do is wait it out and see the team through until the end. Saban won’t hold back about how as fans we have a job to do. He’ll be right, to a point. But there’s more than one reason to leave a game early.
It’s not a terribly popular opinion at the moment, but I’m a fan of the (sorry for the slight, ULL) cupcake games. Not for the game in and of itself, but for the fact that entire athletic departments exist because the have programs pay out millions to the have not programs. That means thousands of kids who may one day find the cure for whatever is going to end me get an education in all manner of disciplines, not the least of which is finding cures for me-ending things.
To many this week’s contest is an exhibition game. Gene Stallings once quipped that if you think these games are unimportant you should try losing one. I don’t need to tell him he’s right. He’s been there and done that. But for most fans in most seasons, games like this are an opportunity to watch the starters tune up and work out a few wrinkles and the backups to get a few reps. This isn’t most seasons considering that some backups may have more game time reps than some starters. We live in good times.
What’s not often discussed is the next generation of fans.
I’m taking my six year old to the game tomorrow because this is precisely the type of game you take a six year old to. He’s not going to remember that Tua passed for fifty-eleven yards or that we sacked the QB on every passing down. You don’t waste an LSU or Auburn ticket on someone more interested in whether the national anthem fighter jets are coming back than how we are doing on third and long.
He is going to remember that he saw an Alabama game live in the stadium.
That may not seem like a whole lot, but it’s a foundation that Joseph Campbell would be proud to work with.
What I’m not going to do is make the game a test of childhood endurance. If he’s hot or bored by the mid-third quarter, we’re heading to Phil’s or somewhere air conditioned. Sorry, coach. We’re building happy memories here.
Speaking of memories, and this is quite an aside, last time I was in Phil’s my brother in-law and I were dutifully waiting for a table when the woman in line ahead of us struck up a conversation and showed us lots of pictures of her boobs. That actually happened.
While I’m speaking of speaking of things and Phil’s came up and Phil’s has Buffalo wings, I’m going to give the simplest recipe I’ve ever done in these electronic pages.
Cook some chicken wings, toss them in melted butter (about three ounces or so, unsalted) with Tabasco (1/4 cup) and the optional, but it’s me so I have to, bit of minced garlic. Salt to taste.
That’s it. No pictures, because they were really mono-orange.
That’s the recipe, give or take the garlic, that in 1964 put the Anchor Bar on the map and made Buffalo, which was already on the map, synonymous with sports, beer, tailgating, and celery.
Sometimes simple is best, RTDB and all that.
Enjoy, no injuries, let the kids have a blast, and Roll Tide.